Oxygen Wrist Bands“Patients and staff think this is a very good idea. Patients take a great interest in their targets and it reassures them, they also understand a lot more about oxygen. For staff it’s a very positive tool which allows them to have a visual quick check, both on a day to day basis and in emergencies”.

Oxygen nurse, Royal Derby Hospital


Colour-coded silicone wristbands which state the patient’s target saturation range, designed to ensure patients are prescribed the correct level of oxygen. Developed by frontline clinicians at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Oxygen is the commonest used drug in acute hospitals and too much oxygen contributes to up to 4,000 avoidable deaths per year in chronic lung disease. A national audit in 2013 showed that only 55% of patients receiving oxygen have a target saturation and only 63.6% of these are within range. By raising awareness and visibility among staff and patients the wristbands have improved both the prescription and titration of oxygen.

What’s the impact?

The pilot study demonstrated:
  • 95% compliance with oxygen prescription (compared with 68% nationally)
  • 86% of patients were within the prescribed target saturation (compared with 58% nationally)
  • 81% of patients with wristbands felt ‘reassured’ about appropriate use of oxygen

What’s next?

We are supporting the spread of this cost effective innovation to three other East Midlands NHS trusts.